Foreword from the Working Group
Following the publication of ' Respect for All; The National Approach to Anti-Bullying for Scotland's Children and Young People' in November 2017, John Swinney MSP, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills established a Working Group to develop a consistent and uniform approach to recording and monitoring of bullying incidents. There is an expectation that all local authorities and schools adopt the approach outlined within this guidance.
The working group has identified the next steps and priority actions to support local authorities and schools to further improve the recording and monitoring of bullying incidents. This guidance should be read in conjunction with ' Respect for All'.
We recognise that bullying behaviour may be a result of prejudice that relates to perceived or actual differences. This can lead to behaviour and language that manifests as racism, sexism, homophobia, biphobia or transphobia or prejudice and discrimination towards disability or faith. It can also be based on characteristics unique to a child or young person's identity or circumstance. There is therefore a need to address the root cause of prejudice as well as respond to incidents as they arise.
The existence of bullying and harassment in schools impacts upon a wide range of children and young people's human rights. This guidance has been written considering children young people's rights and the frameworks in which they are imbedded including Getting it right for every child and The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014.
The Scottish Government currently has no plans for the numbers of bullying incidents to be collated at a national level. However, figures gathered at a local level may be used by the Scottish Government, working in partnership with Convention of Scottish Local Authorities ( COSLA), Association of Directors of Education in Scotland ( ADES), teaching unions and other stakeholder bodies to support self-improvement and inform future policy and practice.